Covid-19 has forced educational institutions to go completely online or shut down. Almost 89% of school going children in India are out of school due to the pandemic. While the families that could afford could easily make the switch to online learning eventually, boys and girls from under-privileged backgrounds have put their education on hold . In order to ease the financial burden of families, many of these children are being sent to work and girls specifically are being married off early. There is a high risk of these children permanently dropping out of school or not being on par with those with access to online education.
IIM Women for Social Action (IIMWSA) has partnered with AlaptopStory and Budli to create a virtual learning center (VLC) to impart education to around 650 children who are currently being mentored by various NGOs. As part of VLC creation, we target to enable access to online learning to all identified children of the NGOs by providing functional devices(laptops, desktops, tablets or mobiles). The devices can be dedicated or shared between users or used by trainers to deliver specialized courses adhering to social distancing norms. Additionally, we will also monetarily support some of the NGOs to meet trainer salaries, internet connection and other device maintenance expenses. We will obtain periodical updates regarding the device utilization from NGOs to ensure effective implementation of VLC.
The team at ALaptopStory has been working with several NGOs to teach STEM subjects to children and they have now stepped up in the Covid situation to create an online portal that enables collection as well as delivery of devices. Individuals as well as corporates can register on the portal to donate devices. Our partner, Budli who has been successful in the business of selling refurbished devices, will collect the devices from registered pick up location, refurbish the devices and deliver to the destination as required. Budli has agreed to offer their existing logistics and refurbishment capabilities for collected devices at zero cost in addition to providing their refurbished devices at zero profit. They will also provide equivalent device value in lieu of irreparable devices.
We will be reaching out to individuals as well as corporates to be part of the initiative by contributing either devices or funds to and spreading the word .